State police identify suspect, troopers involved in deadly officer-involved shooting in West Haven

Connecticut

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — CT State Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding a deadly officer-involved shooting in West Haven on Wednesday. Thursday, CSP released a statement revealing the identification of the suspect and the troopers involved.

CSP identified the suspect in the carjacking-turned-officer-involved-shooting, as 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane, of New Haven.

RELATED: 1 killed during officer-involved shooting in West Haven

According to investigators, Soulemane was a suspect in a carjacking in Norwalk prior to being killed Wednesday evening.

CSP report this all started in Norwalk at an AT&T store right around 4:30 p.m.

Lt. Jared Zwickler with the Norwalk Police Department told News 8, “A male individual had a knife by his side and was arguing with staff in the store.”

AT&T store in Norwalk from which Murbarak stole a vehicle.

Police said Soulemane left in a ride-sharing car. Moments later he got into an altercation with the driver, and at some point he took control of the car and left the driver on the side of the road.  

“[Soulemane] slapped the driver and the driver pulled the car over.”

Lt. Jared Zwickler

That’s when a pursuit started.

Norwalk Officers got into a brief pursuit, but called it off, instead, informing State Police of the suspect’s direction of travel on I-95 toward West Haven.

Troopers spotted the car driven by the suspect on I-95 north and began to pursue.

State Police said Soulemane collided with multiple troopers’ and pedestrians’ cars along the way.

Eventually the suspect stopped for traffic near Campbell Avenue in West Haven. That’s when police fired at Soulemane.

The situation escalated to the point where deadly force was used. Soulemane was taken to the hospital where he died.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut issued a statement Thursday, questioning the pursuit procedure used by state police:

Melvin Medina with the ACLU said when police pursue vehicles they put the public in danger.  

Car pursuits by police are a dangerous and deadly pandemic in Connecticut, and it is deeply concerning that despite the legislature taking action to try to rein in these deadly police decisions, 2020 has begun with policing chasing and killing another person.

When police choose to chase someone in a car, they are escalating a situation and endangering the lives of police, pedestrians, and all motorists on that road. Why, after Norwalk police deescalated the situation by calling off their pursuit, did Connecticut State Police decide to escalate by chasing this driver?”

Melvin Medina, public policy and advocacy director of the ACLU of Connecticut

News 8 spoke with one woman who said her husband was one of the people whose car got hit in the incident:

“He told me he was just in an accident. He’s in shock. He’s scared for his life, he heard gunshots and realized all the police vehicles are behind him and another vehicle that smashed in the back of his vehicle that he was driving.”

Desiree Williams

During their investigation Wednesday night, State Police said the suspect was the only person in the car and confirmed that there was a weapon and knife found inside.

WEB EXTRA: State Police give an update Wednesday on the carjacking, officer-involved shooting incident on I-93 near exit 43

Thursday, CSP also released the names of the troopers involved in the incident:

  • Trooper Brian North (who has been with the State Police for 4.5 years)
  • Trooper Joshua Jackson (who has been with the State Police for 4.5 years)
  • Trooper First Class Ross Dalling (who has been with the State Police for 7.5 years)

CSP’s investigation determined that only Trooper North discharged his duty pistol. In accordance with department policy, Trooper North has been placed on administrative assignment.

According to CSP, “the troopers involved in this incident had vehicles that were equipped with in-car cameras and they were also wearing body worn cameras.”

CSP said the footage of the incident will be released to the public in the coming days.

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